https://www.glwd.org/blog/kept-company-by-meals-and-madame-butterfly-in-brooklyn-heights/

11.8.19 / Clients

Kept Company by Meals and Madame Butterfly in Brooklyn Heights

Our client Robert was born in 1927 in Sandusky, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. “It was a nice little town” he says, but he left Sandusky when he turned 18 to join the Army. The Second World War had just ended, and he felt compelled to enlist as soon as he could. He joined the Army in 1946 and was sent to Japan as a part of the “army of occupation.” In Japan he worked in hospitals as a nurse.

After serving overseas, he remained in the Reserves for five years. He worked in a factory, making chains for tanks. He worked in hospitals as well. He says, “It was heavy work. It really was.” But his life was not without pleasure. When he returned from Japan, a friend of his introduced him to a passion that remains with him to this day: the Opera. “I always loved music, I played the piano of course, but when I got out of the army, a friend of mine played Madame Butterfly for me.” From then on, Robert listened to opera programming on the radio every Saturday. When he turned 36, a friend suggested that he leave Ohio and moved to New York. He thought, “Why not?” And so he moved to Brooklyn Heights, where he remains to this day.

When Robert first moved to New York, he used to go to the Metropolitan Opera two or three times a week, sometimes standing room, sometimes the balcony. He says that the end of La Boheme still makes him choke up. These days, Robert doesn’t go to the Opera, because due to chronic congestive heart failure he cannot leave his house alone. He has an home health aide with him from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. every day and he receives 10 meals a week from God’s Love. He says “I have a pacemaker, so what I do now… is not much: Sit in my lounge chair and watch T.V.” The hundreds of operas that he has on video cassettes keep him company. He tries not to watch the news because that causes his blood pressure to go up. “I’m 92, my legs are not strong, I never go out alone. I use a walker in the house, and that’s it.”

“I’m 92, my legs are not strong, I never go out alone. I use a walker in the house, and that’s it.” - Robert

Robert was diabetic before he started receiving meals from God’s Love, but after two years of receiving medically tailored meals, he no longer has the diagnosis. He tells us, “Apparently it’s my diet. Something I was doing before.” Our medically tailored meals are designed by Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to support Robert’s treatment for his heart condition. We use food to help him remain healthy. Robert describes himself as a “meat and potatoes guy, and that’s about it.” He used to do simple cooking for himself, but his restricted mobility has made it impossible to get ingredients without assistance and it’s too difficult to cook them. Today, he loves our chicken dishes and soups. Robert says “Thank you to all the volunteers and employees of God’s Love” who work to provide these sustaining meals every week.

At God’s Love we’re proud to serve those who have served our country.

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